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Latest Outlook
Outlook Map for 02-2024

February 2024 Hydrological Outlook

Period: From February 2024      Issued on 08.02.2024 using data to the end of January 2024

The outlook for February is for normal to above normal flows, and normal to exceptionally high groundwater levels to be seen across northern and eastern parts of the UK. Flows in south-western Britain and Northern Ireland are likely to be normal to below normal for February. This pattern is likely to persist for river flows over the next three months, whilst groundwater levels are likely to recess to be normal to above normal, with some normal to below normal exceptions.

Rainfall:

January rainfall was close to normal for the UK, though it was unevenly distributed. Above average rainfall was seen across northern England, northern Wales and north-eastern Scotland, whilst below average rain fell in western Scotland, Northern Ireland, and central and southern England. The forecast (issued by the Met Office on 29.01.2024) shows an increase in the likelihood of a dry February (1.5 times the normal chance), though the likelihood of a wet 3-month period is close to normal.

River flows:

River flows in January were generally normal to exceptionally high, with normal flows focussed across western parts of the UK and highest flows across the east and central southern England. These conditions show a reduction from the previous month. The outlook for February and the next three months is for river flows in south-western Britain and Northern Ireland to be normal to below normal. Flows elsewhere across Great Britain are likely to be normal to above normal over the next one-to-three months, with above normal flows most likely in eastern Scotland, north-east England and the chalk-driven catchments of the south downs and East Anglia.

Groundwater:

Groundwater levels in January were also normal to exceptionally high, with record high levels recorded in Brick House Farm and Aylesby in northern England. Normal groundwater levels were recorded in southern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The outlook for February is for normal to exceptionally high groundwater levels to persist, with the possibility of below normal levels in the East Midlands. Over February to April as a whole, groundwater levels are likely to recess to normal to above normal across the UK, with the continuation of normal to below normal levels in the boreholes of the East Midlands.